BookExpo America, the largest North American publishing event, is this week in New York, giving non-industry folks the opportunity to catch great readings like tomorrow's Knopf showcase. Karen Russell (Swamplandia!), Jim Shepard (You Think That's Bad), Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet), and Sloane Crosley (How Did You Get This Number) will read at Brooklyn's powerHouse Arena.
Karen Russell writes her ass off regularly (shout out to her story, "The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach,” an uncanny meditation on responsibility and rivalry). Her latest novel is Swamplandia!, which tells of a 12-year-old alligator wrestler. This is Russell's first novel. Her second will be better than yours, too.
Jim Shepard writes about men and failure. His latest collection, You Think That's Bad, includes characters like Eiji Tsuburaya, the special effects director on the original Godzilla film. His tales of personal and national disaster are both hysterical and upsetting.
Ben Marcus' upcoming novel, The Flame Alphabet is set in a world where "language has become toxic." Sloane Crosley's How Did You Get This Number is a collection of personal essays chronicling the author's experiences living in New York.